We all love to wait for our favorite movie’s trailers, and when they finally release, we tend to watch them and literally feast our eyes. But it is pretty often that we skip over some of the major details in the trailers, something that directors intentionally put there for the viewers to notice and leave them gasping in awe. These recent trailers for some of the most anticipated movies of the next year contain secrets that were missed by the overwhelming majority of viewers, from unexpected character reveals to hidden messages, obscure narrative implications, and perhaps a cameo or two you didn’t expect to see.
The Riddler’s Cipher – The Batman
The trailer fleetingly shows the contents of a card left for Batman by the Riddler which has scrawled on the inside page, “What does a liar do when he’s dead?” On the bottom, the right-hand page is a cipher sure to be glossed-over by the average viewer, but the Internet being the Internet, amateur sleuths soon enough put their minds to cracking the Riddler’s code.
Eventually, game designer Mike Slinkier was able to solve the cipher by brute-forcing combinations until something worked, revealing the answer to the Riddler’s handwritten riddle: “He lies still.” Clever.
Who Nathan Fillion Is REALLY Playing – The Suicide Squad
There are still many, many question marks surrounding the film, in particular the identity of Nathan Fillion’s superhero, who has been given the suspiciously abbreviated moniker “T.D.K.” Though this name seemed to shoot down rampant fan speculation that Fillion would be playing hilarious DC hero Arm-Fall-Off-Boy – whose powers allow him to detach his arms and use them as blunt weapons – that actually may not be the case.
For a few frames early in the trailer, we’re shown a wall from the film’s production department where two pictures of severed limbs can be shown flying through the air. Given that the clothing covering part of the arm seems to match the turquoise-colored costume T.D.K. is wearing, it seems that Fillion may in fact be playing a re-imagined version of Arm-Fall-Off-Boy after all.
Nurse Marion – Halloween Kills
Though you probably noticed the fleeting presence of Kyle Richards, reprising her role of Lindsey Wallace from the ’78 original, and also Anthony Michael Hall as a recast Tommy Doyle, you might’ve missed a third returning character from John Carpenter’s original movie.
At the 0:20 mark, a woman can be seen being attacked by Michael Myers in her car, and this is actually none other than actress Nancy Stephens, who played Dr. Loomis’ (Donald Pleasence) nurse colleague Marion Chambers in the original movie, Halloween II, and also Halloween H20, being killed by Michael in the latter. But with only her original appearance now canon, Chambers has been resurrected for Halloween Kills with Stephens reprising the role.
The Gunbarrel Sequence (Probably) – No Time To Die
At 1:38 in the trailer below, Bond can be seen turning on his heel and firing a gun. From Craig’s stance to the framing of the shot, it looks exactly like a typical Bond gun barrel scene. This suggests the shot is either taken from the movie’s end credits, or director Cary Fukunaga has actually found a way to integrate the gun barrel into the universe of the story, ala Casino Royale.
It’s also possible Fukunaga is just having a little fun with keen-eyed fans here, but at the same time, don’t count out the possibility that he sneaked the gun barrel scene into the trailer.
All The Animated Cameos – Space Jam: A New Legacy
The clip shows star LeBron James and teammate Bugs Bunny staring upwards in amazement as a figure ascends into the sky and causes a neon-colored explosion on the arena’s scoreboard. But keen-eyed viewers who pause the shot at the right moment will be able to make out the presence of numerous beloved animated characters – many of them from Hanna-Barbera – who will be making appearances in the film.
Those who squint hard should be able to make out The Flintstones’ Dino, Space Ghost, Tweety, and Peter Potamus.
Martian Manhunter’s Appearance Confirmed – Zack Snyder’s Justice League
At the 1:04 mark, we can see Lois (Amy Adams) answer the door to Martha Kent (Diane Lane) before the two embraces. This is Snyder’s original filmed version of a scene that was re-shot by Whedon, who added the infamous gag where Martha refers to Lois as “the thirstiest woman” Clark has ever met.
What’s interesting about restoring Snyder’s version is that, back in 2019, Snyder posted storyboards from the scene to social media, confirming it was going to reveal that Martha was actually being impersonated by fan-favorite superhero Martian Manhunter at this moment. Better still, Martian Manhunter would be revealed to have been General Swanwick (Harry Lennix) all along.
Mechagodzilla – Godzilla Vs. Kong
The trailer opens with footage of a city being destroyed by a scarcely visible monster with red, glowing eyes, and if you pause the shot at 0:03, you can see that the creature is neither Godzilla nor Kong nor does it look like any monster we’ve seen in the MonsterVerse to date. Rather, between its red eyes and grey, seemingly metallic exterior, it seems that Warner Bros. has quietly given away a huge reveal: Godzilla’s legendary arch-nemesis Mechagodzilla will be appearing in the film.
Throwing further fuel on the fire is a shot a 1:42, where a man can be seen standing in front of a computer screen which appears to show a schematic of Mechagodzilla. Given most fans’ reasonable expectations that Godzilla and Kong will ultimately team up to take down a larger common foe, it makes all the sense in the world.
Yep, That’s Stellan Skarsgård – Dune
The sheer bevy of gorgeous sights the trailer presents to viewers, however, means some sneaky details are likely to fall through the cracks, not least the unrecognizable presence of one of the film’s cast members. Stellan Skarsgård will appear in Dune as the villainous Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, though you’d barely know it from his two brief appearances in the trailer.
In the first shot, he’s heavily shrouded in fog, and in the second, he’s rising out of a mud bath. In each case, Skarsgård has been transformed into the grotesquely overweight Baron courtesy of a fat suit and makeup, which took seven hours per day to apply.
The Background Is Fake – Spiral
Beyond giving us a basic feel for the style and tone of the movie, the first trailer really only raises more questions, especially for those who care enough to scrub through the shots one at a time. At 1:08, we catch a brief glimpse of cop Marcus Banks (Samuel L. Jackson) investigating what appears to be the killer’s creepy lair – a dark, winding underground passageway with a creepy mannequin parked in the middle.
But under close scrutiny, all isn’t as it seems: the mannequin’s shadow is projected immediately in front of it, making it clear that it’s actually stood in front of a false wall – a mural painted to look like the passage stretches much further back. Whether or not this false passage will be part of a trap laid by the killer remains to be seen, but it’s worth keeping in mind when you’re finally watching the movie for yourself later this year (hopefully).